Annual Meeting Minutes 2006

ALA Annual Conference
New Orleans
June 24, 2006

RSS
Education & Professional Development for Reference Committee
Meeting Notes

Present: Shelby Anfenson-Comeau, Valli Hoski, Hilary Kraus, Kate Mossman, Teresa Omidsalar, Lise Snyder, Lynn Westbrook

Absent: Charlotte Dugan, Michelle Roubal, Leslie Sult

Guest: Jennifer Sweeney

1. Introductions. Jennifer Sweeney expressed interest in joining our committee. She will submit an application to become a committee member. We also received word that the committee will have four additional new members as of Midwinter 2007. These will include an intern and a virtual member.

2. Lise brought the group up-to-date. So far committee members have reviewed the literature and come up with a working bibliography, canvassed other ALA divisions to learn what they are doing in this area, and begun developing draft surveys. All committee members were asked to review the draft surveys (two for new-to-their-positions reference librarians and one for reference supervisors) sent out by our two working groups. They were also asked to review two National Study on the Future of Librarians in the Workforce sample surveys, (one for the library to complete and one for library staff members,) to determine if they might be a useful source of the information we need. Finally, committee members were asked to read the Ballard and Blessing article in the May 2006 issue of College & Research Libraries.

3. There was a good discussion on the sample National Study on the Future of Librarians in the Workforce surveys. The committee as a whole decided that the surveys were not really asking the questions we wanted answered and therefore we would continue to develop our own. After much discussion and clarification regarding our draft surveys, we decided that the surveys should address both orientation and training. We will develop two surveys, one for new reference staff (staff in the profession 5 years or less) and another for reference managers / supervisors. They will ask reference staff and managers/supervisors to select ideal/essential elements for good orientation and training programs, identify which were part of orientation and/or training programs they participated in or developed/designed, and identify which were missing. The surveys will include some demographic questions, lists of ideal/essential elements and some open ended questions. Once the draft surveys are complete, they will be piloted and survey groups identified. Depending on survey results the committee will work on developing guidelines, manuals, best practices, programming, etc.

4. Teresa and Lise will post a working document based on the current draft surveys which members can then assess, edit, etc. The committee will communicate as much as possible via the Yahoo Group created earlier this year. If you have not yet joined, please do so as soon as possible. We agreed to try using conference calls as an additional way to move our work along. Lise will look into scheduling these.

5. The committee will meet twice at Midwinter, once at the RSS all committee meeting time, (usually held Saturday morning at 8:00,) and some time on Sunday depending on availability of committee members. Teresa will poll committee members once we are closer to scheduling.